2017 Award Winners

2017 Franchising Gives Back Awards Ceremony

Click to see 2016 Award Winners.

Spirit of Franchising Award

McDonald’s / Gold Winner

In 2015, McDonald’s launched Archways to Opportunity, an education program that allows U.S.-based restaurant employees the chance to earn a high school diploma, receive tuition assistance, access free education advising services, and learn English as a second language. Nearly 17,000 people have enrolled over the last two years and McDonald’s has awarded more than $13 million in tuition assistance. Additionally, there have been more than 100 graduates from the Career Online High School and 5,200 graduates of the English Under the Arches program. Visit site.

Sonny’s BBQ / Silver Winner

To further Sonny’s BBQ’s mission to spark the spirit of BBQ, the company created a unique program to serve its local communities — Random Acts of BBQ. Since its inception, Sonny’s BBQ has recognized over 500 people in 112 communities in 8 states. It has become a community staple, as the program’s unique, community-centric call-to-action seamlessly unites the Sonny’s brand, team members and local communities. Visit site.

Home Instead Senior Care / Silver Winner

Hilarity for Charity is a movement to inspire change and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. Hilarity for Charity and Home Instead Senior Care network are working together to award in-home care grants to those providing care to their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. They are giving hope and new life to caregivers who would otherwise have no support or relief. Visit site.

Dream Dinners / Silver Winner

Through their partnership with Dream Dinners franchisees, Family & Friends Community Connection (FFCC) has organized Fight Against Hunger events throughout the United States and around the world, and engaged volunteers of all ages. In 2016 alone, Dream Dinners and FFCC were able to organize meal packaging events in six U.S. cities, and communities in Haiti, deliver more than 135,000 meals to food banks in the U.S., deliver more than 300,000 meals abroad, raise more than $100,000, and engage 3,500 volunteers. Visit site.

Enduring Impact Award

The Wendy’s Company / Gold Winner

In 2004, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) launched Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, which awards grants to public and private adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals that create recruitment programs to help families for children who have been waiting in foster care the longest. Over the past five years, Wendy’s has raised over $77.6 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, helping to finalize over 6,300 adoptions. Wendy’s hopes to raise an additional $12 million this year for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Visit site.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe / Silver Winner

For the past 10 years, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has raised more than $4.5 million to support Camp Sunshine, an organization devoted to providing a happy camp experience for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, completely free of charge. Camp Sunshine provides a chance for children and their families to escape the day-to-day pain they endure with hospital visits, doctor appointments and medical procedures, with an opportunity to simply be a kid and have fun. In 2016, Tropical Smoothie Cafe raised a total of $910,000 and spent nearly 3,000 volunteer hours in support of Camp Sunshine. Visit site.

McAlister’s Deli of Louisville / Silver Winner

What started as a dedication to give back to the local community when the first McAlister’s opened in the Louisville area has now evolved to a longstanding 17-year commitment of nine McAlister’s Deli raising funds each year for Crusade for Children, an organization that supports agencies, schools and hospitals to better the lives of special needs children. McAlister’s Deli franchisee Jim Gillenwater owns the nine restaurants that raise money for the charity. The restaurant is recognized as one of the longest standing and largest donating business partners, with a grand total impact of $802,582 over 17 years. Visit site.

Global Franchise Group / Silver Winner

Global Franchise Group’s “A Bite for the Fight” campaign supports The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  Global Franchise Group is comprised of Great American Cookies, Pretzelmaker, Hot Dog on a Stick, Marble Slab Creamery, & MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream & Treatery. Global Franchise Group has raised more than $1.8 million for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). The impact of our “A Bite for the Fight” program can be found in the lifesaving research our fundraising dollars have helped support, the smiles it puts on the faces of patients and their families, and the relationship Global Franchise Group has with LLS leadership and staff. “A Bite for the Fight” is truly making a difference in the lives of those living with and touched by blood cancer. Visit site.

Support Our Veterans Award

Dream Vacations / Gold Winner

Since 2012, Dream Vacations (a CruiseOne company) has awarded 25 military veterans free franchises through its “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” annual contest. The goal is to ease veterans’ transition back into civilian life with a career opportunity that combines their military skills and travel experiences. To date, Dream Vacations’ in-kind donation exceeds $317,000 and, moreover, the contest has evolved into a broader veterans program for Dream Vacations, allowing the franchisor to increase the number of veterans in their system by 15 percent. Visit site.

Sport Clips / Silver Winner

Sport Clips has contributed more than $5 million to support active duty military and veterans through the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 2016, Sport Clips made a record-breaking $1 million donation to Veterans of Foreign Wars as a result of funds raised during its fall 2016 Help A Hero campaign. Visit site.

Anytime Fitness / Silver Winner

Anytime Fitness has partnered with Tee It Up for the Troops, a national non-profit organization, in an effort to help military veterans open their own gyms and provide additional employment opportunities for fellow veterans. Dubbed “Operation HeartFirst,” Tee It Up for the Troops offers a $125,000 grant and a $125,000 loan to a select number of honorably discharged veterans for the purpose of assisting with initial start-up capital to be used for the development of an Anytime Fitness franchise.  The net impact is military veterans, who have selflessly served their country, being rewarded with the fulfillment of a dream to own their own franchise, and the opportunity to serve other veterans and their families in military communities. Visit site.

Innovation and Impact Award

Massage Heights / Gold Winner

Since establishing the Massage Heights Family Fund in 2013 following the experience of co-founder and president Shane Evans had on “Undercover Boss,” Massage Heights has raised nearly $53,000 to help provide financial relief and assistance to franchisees’ employees and their families in times of crisis, need, or hardship. Over the last four years, the Massage Heights Family Fund has awarded 16 grants totaling $15,500 to assist with medical co-pays for chemotherapy; to pay for food, rent, and living expenses after an employee’s husband was injured in an automobile accident; to help pay for temporary housing after an employee lost their home in a fire; and more. Visit site.

Dunkin’ Donuts – Branded Management Group / Silver Winner

For the last four years, the Branded Management Group Dunkin’ Donuts donated canteen truck has been a valuable resource supporting fire, police, state, and federal agencies in Worcester County, Massachusetts, as well as communities throughout New England. The initial donation of $250,000 in 2012 was in response to a lack of resources available to support local first responders after several natural disasters hit the region. Branded Management Group has contributed approximately $10,000 annually to supporting Box 4 Special Services Canteen, which serves first responders during emergencies. Visit site.

Abrakadoodle / Silver Winner

Abrakadoodle’s Arts for All Campaign makes a difference in the lives of children, teens, young adults and seniors by delivering innovative, high quality and creativity-boosting art programs that bring smiles and build confidence and skills. Abrakadoodle franchise owners identify programs that would benefit from their support, and they determine best ways to make a difference. In its eleventh year, Abrakadoodle has funded programs that immerse kids in art, providing skill-building, peaceful and creative treasured moments through its annual scholarship. Visit site.

Dunkin’ Donuts – Naples Donuts LLC / Silver Winner

Naples Donuts LLC partnered with the Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County in an effort to raise awareness during the month of May’s “Drowning Prevention Month” by designing and selling life saver donuts throughout its stores. They displayed creative proactiveness in a timely issue in the community. Visit site.

The Newcomer Award

Planet Fitness / Gold Winner

Last year, Planet Fitness launched a national cause initiative called The Judgement Free Generation™, a pro-kindness, anti-bullying movement, with a mission to encourage a generation to grow up contributing to a more judgement free planet. Planet Fitness partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and STOMP Out Bullying, raising over $1.5 million in its inaugural year by donating the $10 new-member enrollment fee during the weeklong national cause-marketing program, in addition to contributing over $100,000 in in-kind donations and more than 1,300 volunteer hours. Visit site.

Chicken Salad Chick / Silver Winner

Music and Miracles Superfest was the premier country music festival was the brainchild of late Chicken Salad Chick co-founder Kevin Brown and his wife, Stacy Brown. The Chicken Salad Chick Foundation was established to focus on contributing to find a cure for cancer and ending hunger in America.  The 2016 Music and Miracles Superfest debuted to a crowd of over 50,400 people with some of country music’s hottest stars, including Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt and Miranda Lambert. In its first year, the Superfest raised $200,000 toward making miracles happen for patients in need at Vanderbilt – Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit site.

The Cleaning Authority / Silver Winner

Since The Cleaning Authority started franchising, franchisees at the local level have been participating with local organizations, donating their time and money to improve their communities. In 2016, 151 offices took part in food drives, they had nearly 75% participation in its franchise locations throughout the year. The Cleaning Authority collected 238,175 pounds of food, which equates to 198,479 meals for people in need. Visit site.


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